Friday, November 04, 2005

We Spoil Ourselves With Dinner

One of the paradoxes of living in a developing country such as Albania, is that amid the daily challenges of life (such as lack of hydro), you can go out for dinner at a few very acceptable restaurants. One of these is in our neighbourhood and is called Piazza. This is our bill from Wednesday evening. The currency of Albania is called the LEK and 100 LEK is about the same as $1.00 US. So the total of our bill was approximately $86.00 or 70 Euros. Outside of the major hotel restaurants, this is about the most we'd ever pay here for dinner for two.



We had Martini Bianco for a pre-dinner drink, and a bottle of very nice Italian Chianti with dinner. I chose a fabulous rucola, tomato, and buffalo mozzarella salad, with the mozzarella being the most delicious thing I have tasted in weeks. Not only tasty but it was the size of my fist, and soft and squishy on the inside. Just perfect. P had a smoked salmon salad with caviar which was also delicious. For main courses I chose shrimp with honey and soy sauce, and there must have been a dozen shrimp piled high on my plate. It was sooooo good! P's dinner was grilled monkfish- one of his favourite dishes and he had a huge portion- in fact both sides of the tail. That added a big chunk to our bill at 3200 LEK, but it was worth every 'penny'. The service was impecable and the waiters were really pleasant and spoke English. Even the decor was an interesting combination of modern Zen and Albanian traditional. That sounds odd but it sort of worked. We had no room for dessert but promised ourselves that next time we would not have starters and save room for something sweet. I can't wait to go back!

9 comments:

Mona said...

Sounds like a great dinner! Glad you enjoyed it and without breaking the bank!

ITS said...

I felt the same way when I was in Albania on vacation. For about 60-70=80 bucks I could eat great meals sometimes picking up the bill for the entire entourage... it's a great feeling...

The funny thing is that 80 dollars equals two weeks of salary for the avarage Albanian worker... love it or hate it... my land of paradoxes...

Gia-Gina said...

Sounds like a fun dinner. Last week we were out to dinner and the bill was 80 Euros also but they forgot the wine and of course I said we had to go back and fix the situation.

Sounds like a good time was had and that's all that counts.

Sparky said...

Woha - I actually feel that 80 EUR is quite a lot for a dinner for two. Maybe I AM just as big a miser as my wife insists I am...

hockeyman said...

so in Albania..is the tip 15% or how does that work?

traveller two said...

Although 15% is generous, especially when compared to salaries here, in this case it was most appropriate.

Cynthia Rae said...

Ok, we just paid 20 euros for two pizzas and two drinks. I guess I won't complain! I hope dinner was yummy!

Cyn

Deborah said...

That meals sound wonderful. Especially motza the size of your fist! Im with the others. I don't think you paid too much, USA standards, at all.

Sparky said...

But I'm talking Euro standards :).
But then again, I'm talking Euro standards for "everyday food" - and I guess you guys had a gourmet meal.